Forensic photography is an important tool used by law enforcement and crime scene investigators to document evidence & capture fingerprints. foster+freeman® are a leader in Forensic Science Innovation. The company's engineering team partnered with i4PD to develop a new imaging platform and fuming cabinet to further enhance the accuracy & efficiency of forensic investigations.
The DISCOVER Imaging platform was developed in collaboration with i4PD to streamline the process of capturing & analysing forensic images. It features a compact footprint that is a docking station for the state of art Crime-lite Auto camera system. It provides the camera with positioning system and allows different imaging modalities to integrate with interchangeable light sources that slot in place quickly, with ease & accuracy. The collaboration also yielded the MVC®FFLEX. A fuming cabinet which reveals fingerprint ridge details on evidence.
i4PD was challenged to ensure the appearance of all future products developed by the company would stand out from the competition and be easily identifiable as foster+freeman® products. This required a Visual Brand Language (VBL) exercise to create a set of guidelines to unify and strengthen the impact of the brand’s promise, differentiate itself from competitors, define the tangible elements of the brand and build loyalty.
On completing the VBL, i4PD was tasked with employing this new design language on two of the company's planned developments.
1) The DISCOVER® Imaging Platform (pictured above) was to be a new product that would sell alongside the existing Recover LFT & Crime-lite AUTO camera products. The key product requirements were to minimise product footprint, be low cost and offer easy changeovers to the different imaging modalities.
2) The new MVC®FFLEX range of fuming cabinets to develop fingerprints had to be modular, easy to clean, reuse common parts through the product range & utilize a new & innovative smart filter which was easy to change over & dispose off.
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Our first step was to establish foster+freeman’s 3D Visual Brand Language. We delivered this through a series of Language Discovery Workshops. The aim of the workshops was to capture foster+freeman’s personality, values and aspirations.
After the discovery phase, an extensive array of concepts were put forward to the various stakeholders at foster+freeman®. These had examples of the different uses of colours, materials, finishes and distinct geometries. An aesthetic direction was chosen from these concepts and a visual brand language was formed.
From an engineering perspective the i4PD team had to overcome certain technical challenges. An example was designing a purely mechanical XYZ stage in line with the company's cost and performance targets. The stage had to deliver precision movement/accuracy with a high quality feel. To meet the brief on ease of use we undertook an ergonomic study and developed multiple light modules that could be attached and moved around the imaging platform using a modular dock approach. i4PD generated Proof of Concept prototype units to optimise the stage’s movement.
The VBL paved the way for the delivery of two iconic products. The DISCOVER is a revolutionary tool for Forensic investigators, allowing quick & accurate evidence documenting through an intuitive workflow. This is provided by a camera quick dock feature and easy camera positioning thanks to a revolutionary & innovative XYZ platform. The platform supports multiple light modules for cylindrical surface unwrapping, coaxial illumination, polarised illumination & diffuse light plate illumination making it an invaluable resource for law enforcement & crime scene investigators.
The MVC®FFLEX S and M products were designed in parallel with the DISCOVER in foster+freeman’s newly formed 3D brand language and built upon the company's 20 years of experience with fuming techniques. Both products have been well received in their market place with subsequent developments by foster+freeman following the newly established VBL to produce a cohesive product range that are distinctly recognisable as foster+freeman.
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